Published: Nov. 21, 2019 By

When preparing to apply to a graduate program, one of the main questions prospective students ask is which standardized test, GMAT or GRE, should they take. Like many other MBA and MS programs around the country, Leeds accepts scores from either test and the admissions team does not have a preference of one exam over the other.

The GRE (Graduate Records Examinations) is a standardized test used by most graduate programs. It is owned by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and has been in use since 1936. The sections of the test include three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. As ETS emphasizes, the GRE is intended to comprehensively assess a prospective student’s skills, knowledge, and readiness for further education. Scores are between 130 and 170 for the verbal and quantitative sections and 0 to 6 for writing. Unlike other standardized tests, GRE scores report individual section scores rather than combining.

On the other hand, the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a graduate business assessment used by management-specific programs. In 1953, nine business schools formed the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) with intention of developing a test solely for graduate management applicants. It has four sections: analytical writing, quantitative, verbal, and integrated reasoning. Composite scores are between 200 and 800 while scores for quantitative and verbal are 0 to 60, analytical writing is 0 to 6, and integrated reasoning is 1 to 8.

In terms of differences, while both tests measure verbal and quantitative skills they do so in different ways. The verbal component of the GRE focuses more on testing your ability to create and complete sentences. The GMAT is more about verbal assessment and being able to correct and assess text. Likewise, the GMAT’s quantitative and integrated reasoning sections center on analysis and data interpretation unlike the more straightforward math problems of the GRE.

Overall, the GMAT tests analytical and problem-solving skills, and the GRE sways more towards other straightforward standardized tests with vocab questions and math problems. Both tests can help reflect your readiness for a management program. When deciding which test to prepare for, consider your professional and academic background as well as your skillset. From my own perspective, I chose to take the GMAT because I have strong analytical and reasoning skills, which lends itself well to the format of the test. Also, I had previously taken the GRE and my scores were expired and not particularly solid, so I thought it would make sense to try the GMAT.